Is it not true that when you pick an airline to fly with the variable of decision-making is, more often than not, price? Rarely do travellers factor in other equally important aspects in their decision-making processes such as comfort, in-flight entertainment, onboard food, available literature, among others.

I have always felt strongly that my choice of airline has to be based on something more than just money (for me, food always comes second). But even I have to admit that while my airline selection algorithm is based on a number of variables, cost usually takes the biggest share. So what other factors do you consider when choosing an airline?

Going by Skytrax’s 40 plus key performance indicators they use to select the best airlines in the world for their annual World Airline Awards, things like check-in, boarding, on-board seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, in-flight entertainment and staff service may just be what needs to feature in your check list in the near future.

Over the last quarter century, the World Airline Awards have become synonymous with bench-marking passenger satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world. Their survey is drawn from business and leisure travellers across all cabin travel types (First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy class passengers).

Last year (2013), during a 10-month period, Skytrax carried out such a survey where air travellers completed an online questionnaire about their experience with airlines on the ground and on-board.

The survey measured passenger satisfaction across more than 40 key performance indicators of airline front-line product and service and covered over 200 airlines from the largest international airlines to the domestic carriers.

At the end of the day the Best Airline in Africa, selected by customers in 2013, was South African Airways followed by Air Seychelles and Air Mauritius in that order. Our very own Kenya Airways came 6th after Ethiopian Airlines.

Here is the complete list of the 10 top African airlines from the best (1) downwards:

  1. South African Airways
  2. Air Seychelles
  3. Air Mauritius
  4. Kulula
  5. Ethiopian Airlines
  6. Kenya Airways
  7. TAAG Angola Airlines
  8. Mango
  9. Egyptair
  10. Air Austral

Now you know where to get value for your money flying in 2014. Have a safe flight.